In its first event of the season, the golf team finished 9th overall at the Colgate Invitational Sept. 7. The Yellowjackets, who found themselves in 16th place following a dismal 313 on the first day, shot the third-lowest day two total of any school, a 295, and finished with a final score of 608.

UR was just one stroke behind LeMoyne College and two in back of tournament champion Binghamton University for the low round on Sunday. The Yellowjackets finished ahead of every Division I school besides Binghamton on the second day.

“We experienced both extremes,” Head Coach Rich Johnson said. “We were very disappointed after the first day. But we came back and shot the third-best score on Sunday and beat some good Division I teams.”

Sunday’s surge was led by freshman Patrick Shanahan, who finished the day with a two-under 70. Shanahan shot 16 pars and two birdies on the tournament’s second day, sparking UR’s final-day comeback and tying him for eighth individually with a 147.

“I look for Patrick to continue to play well. He comes to us with a real strong golf resume,” Johnson said. “I expected him to play well, and he met my expectations.”

A Pittsburgh, Pa. native, Shanahan was Western Pennsylvania’s Junior Match Play champion and Stroke Play runner-up in high school.

Senior co-captains Dave Masters and Jason Bronstein each shot a two-over 74 on the final day and finished with overall scores of 152 and 153, respectively.

“Some of the guys didn’t know the course well so it just took an extra day to get used to everything,” Masters said. “The second day we cut down on penalty strokes and just made fewer mental mistakes overall.”

UR’s 608 at the Colgate was a drastic improvement from last year’s cumulative total of 624.

After losing three players from last season’s squad to graduation and ineligibility, the Yellowjackets will look to a pair of veterans and a crew of talented freshmen to fill the void.

Masters and Bronstein, the lone seniors on the UR roster, will assume the leadership role vacated by last year’s senior trio of Mike Quijano, John Semeniak and Scott Clyde.

Coming off a breakthrough season, Masters hopes to pick up where he left off in the spring, when he tied for first at the University Athletic Association Tournament, earned second and third place finishes at the Mid-Atlantic Region Classic and Kenyon Cup, respectively, and was twice named UAA Player of the Week.

After missing all of the 2003 spring season with a hand injury, Bronstein hopes to bounce back and establish himself as one of the team’s most consistent players.

“Dave and I have to make sure the freshmen are prepared for tournaments,” Bronstein said. “But they all seem to be very enthusiastic about learning so it won’t be difficult.”

Shanahan is not the only newcomer capable of making an immediate impact. Freshmen Joe Derrigo, Robert Sherman and Colin Quillinan are all members of what Johnson calls the best recruiting class UR has had in years.

Next up on the Yellowjackets’ fall calendar is the Williams Invitational in Williamstown, Mass. Sept. 20-21. Last season, UR finished sixth overall at the event. The school has never won the tournament, which is played at the renowned Taconic Golf Club.

Gerton can be reached at mgerton@campustimes.org.



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